The U.S. RMBS market showed signs of slowing in the first quarter from last year's torrid pace - when year-over-year issuance increased by more than $200 billion, according to data maintained by Thomson Financial. Issuance in the first quarter reached $234.5 billion, a 15% increase over the fourth quarter's $204.4 billion, and only one more deal was completed in the first quarter than the final quarter of last year - 286 instead of 285.
Lehman Brothers managed more U.S. RMBS deals than any of its competitors in the first quarter of this year in terms of overall dollar volume, bringing 29 deals to the market that totaled $27.3 billion and an 11.6% market share. The investment bank rose from a number three position in the final quarter of 2005, when it brought 28 deals totaling $19.2 billion and a 9.4% market share. Royal Bank of Scotland Group was not far behind, also bringing 29 deals to the market in the first quarter but still came in beneath Lehman with $26.6 billion and an 11.3% market share. RBS in the fourth quarter of last year ranked fourth with a 9.1% market share earned through 26 deals totaling $18.6 billion. Bear Stearns. rounded out the top three, falling down a notch from its second-place finish in the preceding quarter but still underwriting a relatively large number of deals. Bear brought 33 deals to the market in the first quarter totaling $26.2 billion and an 11.2% market share, compared with 35 deals brought in the preceding quarter that totaled $22.3 billion and a 10.9% market share.